POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

Started 7 months ago | Polls thread
gardenersassistant
Contributing MemberPosts: 960
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Re: POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?
In reply to Tom Axford, 7 months ago

I shot JPEG only for about five years but then started using RAW a couple of years ago. That was with a G3, so any examples from that wouldn't really be a a good comparison in the context of small sensor cameras, and I haven't done any JPEG vs RAW comparisons with my more recently acquired FZ200. However, last year I prepared some examples for a photography group I'm in, using a Canon SX240, which has a small sensor like the FZ200. (You can't capture RAW with the SX240 out of the box btw - you have to use the unofficial CHDK utility.)

Here is a SX240 JPEG image imported into Lightroom. (I believe I set up the Saturation -19 setting as a standard import parameter for the SX240. I think this was the only change made to these examples on import to Lightroom.)

The red shows areas that Lightroom believes are blown.

Here is a before and after showing the effect of pulling down the highlights in Lightroom. No detail has been recovered from the red areas.

I used JPEG + RAW for this capture. Here is a before and after showing how the RAW version looked on import to Lightroom (with no red areas - those areas don't appear to be blown), and after pulling down the highlights. Some more detail has been recovered in those areas.

Here is the JPEG version of a RAW + JPEG pair of a geranium. On import there are some significant blown areas, and they remain featureless after the highlights are pulled down.

Here is the RAW before and after. The same areas look pretty featureless in the RAW import, although Lightroom doesn't mark up much as being actually blown. Pulling down the highlights recovers some texture in those areas.

I believe RAW images contain non-trivial amounts of additional information which I find it useful to exploit, for both highlights and shadows.

For my purposes there is an additional benefit of using RAW, to do with handling subtle detail and textures, even when nothing is blown. If anyone is interested I will add another flower example that I believe demonstrates this.

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